Clusters and benchmarks on the dynamics of nanoscience and nanotechnology
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The micro-determinants of meso-level learning and innovation: evidence from a Chilean wine cluster

Book or journal references : Research Policy, vol. 34, pp. 47-68 (2005).

Author(s) : Giuliani , E. and Bell , M.

Abstract :

Most analyses of the relationship between spatial clustering and the technological learning of firms have emphasised the influence of the former on the latter, and have focused on intra-cluster learning as the driver of innovative performance. This paper reverses those perspectives. It examines the influence of individual firms' absorptive capacities on both the functioning of the intra-cluster knowledge system and its interconnection with extra-cluster knowledge. It applies social network analysis to identify different cognitive roles played by cluster firms and the overall structure of the knowledge system of a wine cluster in Chile. The results show that knowledge is not diffused evenly 'in the air', but flows within a core group of firms characterised by advanced absorptive capacities. Firms' different cognitive roles include some-as in the case of technological gatekeepers-that contribute actively to the acquisition, creation and diffusion of knowledge. Others remain cognitively isolated from the cluster, though in some cases strongly linked to extra-cluster knowledge. Possible implications for policy are noted. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords :

clusters; absorptive capacity; knowledge communities; technological gatekeepers R-AND-D; ABSORPTIVE-CAPACITY; KNOWLEDGE; POLICY; FIRMS; COOPERATION; COMMUNITIES; SPILLOVERS; GEOGRAPHY

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